When Del Greco inexplicably missed the extra point, the six-point deficit hung on the scoreboard as enticement to the Ravens.
"I couldn't believe something that good happened to me," Dilfer said.
He regrouped on the bench with a prayer, and then answered one for the Ravens. The pass that got the Ravens into Titans' territory was an ad-lib scramble that became a 36-yard pass to Sharpe.
Flushed out of the pocket to his right on third-and-five, Dilfer found Sharpe on a sideline adjustment to the Tennessee 29.
"Shannon's sense of timing when a quarterback is out of the pocket is like nothing I've seen in my life," Dilfer said. "It's like we're reading each other's minds."
Although Sharpe made the catch and rolled out of bounds on the play, officials at first ruled him down inbounds. Because he had not been touched before going out, the ruling was corrected and the Ravens regained not only five seconds on the clock, but their second timeout as well.
From there, there was a 3-yard toss to Jermaine Lewis out of the backfield, a 5-yard pass to Sharpe and an incompletion in the end zone. On fourth-and-two from the 21, Dilfer lobbed a fade pass for Ismail at the goal line. The ball fell incomplete when Dainon Sidney ran into Ismail, and the ensuing pass interference call gave the Ravens first-and-goal at the 2.
After a no-gain run by Jamal Lewis (99 yards on 23 carries), Dilfer stopped the clock at 29 seconds with a spike. Then Ravens coach Brian Billick called a "Change Left Zeke, Quick Sprint Right 17," with Johnson as the primary receiver.
It was double redemption for Johnson, who not only dropped a would-be touchdown throw earlier in the game, but dropped another one in the end zone a year ago here in a 14-11 loss to the Titans.
"It was the exact same scenario as last year," Johnson said. "I had to face my demons from last year, too. I can't believe I had the opportunity to make another play."
Johnson lined up in the slot to the right, inside Ismail. While Ismail drove to the corner of the end zone, taking cornerback Denard Walker with him, Johnson raced toward the sideline with Samari Rolle in pursuit.
Rolle tangled momentarily with Johnson, who made the catch and managed to get both feet down in bounds in the end zone.
The Ravens still had to survive one last challenge from the Titans. A kickoff return to the Tennessee 44, an 11-yard pass and a 20-yard scramble by McNair set up Del Greco for a 43-yard field-goal attempt to win the game. Del Greco was wide right, turning Tennessee's cheers into tears.
Right tackle Harry Swayne isn't sure the Ravens have seen the last of the Titans - or Adelphia - this season.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we have to come back here for the playoffs," Swayne said. "If that's the case, it'd be like we've been here, let's do it again."
Ravens 24, Titans 23